This Valentine’s Day, men and women alike will try to outdo the opposite sex by purchasing the freshest bouquet of roses, the sweetest box of chocolates, or the most costly piece of jewelry they can afford.  Others may purchase weekend getaways, new automobiles, gourmet dinners, and the like.  Children will cut out hearts and write Valentines to their parents, teachers, family, and friends.  But even amid all of this red and pink and everything from heart-shaped candies to ice cubes shaped like X’s and O’s, is this really the best way to convey our love for one another?  Perhaps in all of our haste to wrap the right gift, we may have lost the meaning of Valentine’s Day altogether.  Love is not found inside a greeting card or even a chocolate truffle.  Love is found through our actions.  How we talk to others, how we treat them, and what we do for them every day of the year.  That’s love.
        From the Creation of the world, love has been the glue that holds everything together.  It was with love that God so carefully placed the sun, moon, and stars.  Through love, he created bodies of water and dry land.  He knew we would need nourishment, so he provided a vast array of plants and animals that would produce food for us to eat.  Then, he knew we had an inherent need to feel loved, so he gave Adam a companion as a helpmate.  Even though the world has experienced its fair share of tumult since the moment that pristine Garden of Eden was planted by God’s own hands, one thing has never changed.  God has never stopped loving me and you.
        John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should have eternal life.”  Throughout the centuries, people have blasphemed, ridiculed, and scorned our Heavenly Father.  Yet because of his infinite mercy, he pours out his unconditional love to every man, woman, boy, and girl on this earth.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  God gave his only Son to save us all, even though we were sinners.  He looks beyond our shortcomings, our mistakes, our wrongdoings.  He looks into the heart of the individual and knows they have an inherent need to be loved.  Through an unselfish sacrifice of love, we have been redeemed.  Through love, we find salvation.  This kind of love is greater than we can fully comprehend.
        Love is not just a feeling for someone.  To love someone means you are willing to do something on their behalf.  John 15:3 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”   This does not mean we should be crucified on a cross.  This means we should put others first, sacrificing our own needs to show God’s love toward others.  A parent’s love is likely the closest example to Christ’s perfect love displayed by a human.  A mother or father sleeps lightly, ready to jump up at the first cry of their child.  They don’t leap out of bed at 4 o’clock in the morning because they despise sleep; they do it out of love for their son or daughter.  They would do anything to ensure their child’s well-being is put before their own needs.  That’s unconditional love.
        Love is something that cannot be bought or sold.  It can only be given away.  The only question is what kind of love we will show to others.  Will we send a Get Well card in the mail, or will we pick up the telephone to see how someone is really doing?  Will we give someone a gift card to their favorite restaurant, or will we go out of our way to prepare a home-cooked meal for someone who is living alone, with no family to call their own?  Will we stay home on Sunday morning or will we go to the House of the Lord to worship and praise him for the unmerited favor and matchless love that he has shown toward us?  While every act of love is a blessing to the recipient, the greatest thing we can do is to be a reflection of the love of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet.  I John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us.”  Jesus Christ is the perfect example of love.  He didn’t just send a Valentine card.  He gave his life so we could have our sins washed white as snow, and in turn, receive everlasting life.  That is the greatest example of love ever shown since the beginning of time.  There truly is no greater love!

In Christ's Love,